I know there are some health care workers in the forums.
Someone comes into the emergency room unconcious and was stabilized. Upon awaking the person insists on leaving with no further treatment. The person is also unwilling or unable to provide any information beyond his name.
What would happen to this person?
We can't really hold a patient. We've had patients rip out their IV and run out of the hospital. These patients were chased and convinced to go back in. There is a possibility the patient could have bled to death. It's called leaving against the doctor's advice.
Those who come to the emergency room are not made to stay.
Thanks for the reply one more question
The person cannot be stopped from leaving I understand.
Would security try to detain him at all or would that never happen?
Nope they can only tell him about the dangers of leaving. If the person is already in the hospital and starts to leave they are informed that their insurance won't pay anything if they do.
This usually gets them to return to their room.
Depending on the severity of the injury sustained to have them brought in that way the hospital would try to keep the person there for observation.
It is your story though and anything can happen from them trying to detain him and there is an all out brawl where he leaves the hospital or he stays and then sneaks out later. It really is up to you what happens to him.
Try this site Arthur Paragraph two states that the hospital is not responsible if the patient signs a form refusing further treatment.
http://www.aans.org/library/Article.asp … leId=10137
Yes, isnt that called A.M.A. ? Against Medical Advice I beleive. Pretty sure I signed one or two of those forms back in the' bad old days' of my former life...lol
Perhaps the link (above) already tells you this, I didn't check, but I think what you are looking for is the phrase, "Against Medical Advice." A patient who wants to leave against the advice of the doctor is considered to be leaving "AMA." As in, "He left, AMA."
The patient will be asked to sign an AMA form. It's a contract releasing the hospital of liability.
Patients DO leave without signing. When that happens, the doctor signs a form that says, "Patient left AMA and refused to sign."
I am glad you responded.
What would the hospital do if the person refuses to sign and just gets up and leaves without even showing an ID?
In almost all situations except dire life-threatening emergencies, the hospital will obtain ID before they start treatment. Most require a picture ID. However, by law, they HAVE TO treat and/or not refuse treatment.
In your scenario, I suppose you want to know if anyone will come after the patient? The answer is, not likely.
Let's say a guy is taken to the ER because he is found unconscious. When he comes to, he's in the ER and does NOT want to be there. He demands that the IV be removed from his arm, or he pulls it out himself. He says he is leaving. While the nurse goes to inform the doctor and start the AMA process, he leaves before signing anything.
That sort of thing happens ALL the time, and is part of the reason for our high cost in health care (but only a small part).
If he left his address with the hospital, he can expect to receive a bill. The bad thing is, most insurance companies will NOT pay for treatment received when a patient leaves AMA. So, the entire cost of the bill is charged to the patient without the benefit of insurance coverage. It's one way they try to get patients to NOT leave AMA. In the case of a patient who does not have insurance to begin with, leaving is one way that they see as a way to control expenses. If they aren't there getting treatment, the bill will not continue to rise.
Sadly, most hospitals will not tell a non-insured person that the treatment will be written off if they can't pay. They don't want to encourage patients to take advantage of the system. So, many leave without the necessary medical care.
"What would the hospital do if the person refuses to sign and just gets up and leaves without even showing an ID?"
Nothing. The hospital cannot hold a "patient" against the person's will. Even the police have to have just cause. This is one reason why emergency care facilities are going broke. People are being treated without paying. They provide phony names, addresses, phone numbers, etc., and cannot be traced. But it's also law that patients get treatment regardless of circumstance. The treating facility is hopeful that they'll get their money from somebody -- usually it falls on the taxpayer. There is a legislation pending that would force the patient to at least provide a fingerprint in case of criminal activity. But the ACLU is arguing that this infringes on a person's rights. So we have patient anonymity, free medical treatment, and a welfare system that is being strangled into oblivion.
Just wanted to add also, that even an identification is likely to be phony. That's very big business in the United States. It's very easy to counterfeit a driver's license or anything else -- with the possible exception of a passport -- and is being done with alarming frequency. That's why hotel key cards were so hot a couple years ago. Stolen identity is another huge problem costing banks, insurance companies, and others billions of dollars every year. The victim is left with years of legal problems.
Medical treatment facilities (hospitals, doctor's offices, etc.) are fighting back with some results (I won't mention the methods they're using). And more and more people are going to jail and being deported after being fingerprinted. This is one area the ACLU can't argue against.
The United States' social welfare system is/was among the best in the world. But it is being abused by so many that it has degenerated to where hospitals are being shut down, fewer ambulances are operating, and there's simply no more money to treat the growing population of poor.
IN the UK it is the same. A patient is free to leave so long as they sign a form releasing the NHS of liability, if they leave against medical advice, and if they go ahead and leave without signing, the doctor signs to say it was against medical advice and they couldn't stop him.
I'm interested to know what the procedure is in the US in the case of a serously ill child who needs a blood transfusion, whose Jehovah Witness parents refuse to sign for?
In that case, (usually) the hospital will step in as temporary guardian and seek a court order to proceed. It can all be done very quickly, via telephone, to get the initial court order (for example, prohibiting the parents from removing the child AMA). Continuing with a treatment that is against a religious belief gets more complicated. We have several cases that have reached our Supreme Court on this issue. Some became moot because the child died.
Usually, though, the hospital "wins" on the argument that if the parent didn't want medical intervention, why did they go to the hospital in the first place? In other words, just how strongly do they believe? Very complicated issue.
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